Trojans can’t find offense in district loss
The Plainwell offense hadn’t scored less than 15 points in the opening half and had failed to score at least 28 points only once this season.
That all changed on Halloween night, however, as it was all trick and no treat for the Trojans in their opening-round Division 4 football contest with Harper Creek on Friday, Oct. 31.
Plainwell was limited to a season-low 166 total yards of offense and managed just one touchdown in suffering the 27-7 loss at the hands of the visiting Beavers.
“(Harper Creek) came in with a good scheme and basically took it to us,” Plainwell coach Darren Conklin said. “They were more physical than we were and just did a better job overall.
“We just really didn’t play well in any phase of the game. That’s going to happen sometimes. It’s just unfortunate it happened to us in the playoffs.”
This marks the second straight season the Trojans had posted an 8-1 record in the regular season only to fall at home to a team that had made it into the playoffs with a 5-4 record.
That loss had fueled Trojan players throughout the season.
“We had the playoffs in the back of our mind all season,” Conklin said. “The expectations were high. We had a lot of kids back and they really wanted another shot (in the postseason). We expected a lot from ourselves and were hoping to make a long (postseason) run.”
Harper Creek had other ideas.
The main target of the Beaver defense was senior running back Jacob Geter, who entered the game as one of the top rushers in the state.
“We knew they had a good offense and we had our work cut out for us,” Harper Creek coach Ed Greenman said. “The big thing for us was to get to (Geter) before he could get going at full speed. He’s very fast. One of the best in the state. And we knew we had to get to him early.
“Other than a very few occasions, I think we got to the ball well and tackled well.”
That Harper Creek did, limiting Geter to a season-low 60 yards on 19 carries. He was also kept out of the end zone for the first time this season.
Rather, it was Chase Marshall who accounted for the Trojans’ lone touchdown, scoring on a 5-yard run with 8:03 left in the second quarter. Joe Fazio converted the ensuing extra-point kick, thereby knotting the score at 7-7.
The Beavers had taken a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on a 13-yard run by Colten Swims.
But that touchdown by Marshall was the only offense the Trojans would muster as four of their six possessions that followed resulted in three or less offensive plays.
For full story, pick up a copy of the November 6 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.